Adaptation to Age and Retirement

The stressors of advancing age and the question of retirement from professional activity deserve consideration. In the past, retirement was not a consideration. People worked until illness, impairment or death forced cessation of productive labor. It was not until the late 19th century that retirement benefits and pensions became increasingly commonplace. With improved medical therapies and longer life spans, retirement was increasingly regarded as a normal stage of late life.

Personal Commentary:

This brief commentary by Sheila Hafter Gray encourages retirement when one achieves maturity and, with maturity, the opportunity to gain wisdom. Please see Developmental Issues in Maturity: Finding a Future Different from the Present


In a series, rich in its sensitive self-disclosure, Norman A. Clemens considers aging and retirement.

“On Letting Go: With Age Comes Renunciation”, Clemens offers a poignant consideration of the readjustments that become necessary as we age.

In the first of two related articles, “A Psychiatrist Retires: An Oxymoron?” Clemens considers the relevant literature and the issues involved in making the decision to retire.

The second in the series, “A Psychiatrist Retires: The Happening” considers how the decision to retire came about, the logistics, personal and patient experiences, and the aftermath.

Through interviews with 21 retirement-age psychiatrists, “How Senior Psychodynamic Psychiatrists Regard Retirement”, Ingram and Stine report among other findings that psychiatrists’ apprehensions prior to retirement were not borne out by their experience afterwards.